Games of the XXVIIIth Olympiad -- 2004
Athens, Greece • August 13-29, 2004
The U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team had one goal in Athens: to win a gold medal. Led by three-time Olympians Lisa Leslie, Dawn Staley and Sheryl Swoopes, the USA team did not disappoint its fans as it captured a third consecutive gold medal for the United States.
2004 USA RESULTS (8-0)
2004 OLYMPIC GAMES FINAL STANDINGS
At the forefront from the start after U.S. team captain Staley was elected by her U.S. peers to carry the flag and lead the United States delegation into the stadium at Opening Ceremonies on Aug. 13, the squad collected a 99-47 victory over New Zealand on Aug. 14, ran past the Czech Republic 80-61 on Aug. 16, tore past South Korea 80-57 on Aug. 18 and earned a 71-58 win over Spain on Aug. 20 before closing preliminary round play with a 100-62 drubbing of China on Aug. 22. USA head coach Van Chancellor piloted his team into the medal semifinals with a 102-72 win over host Greece on Aug. 25 in the quarterfinals and edged Russia 66-62 on Aug. 27 to advance to the gold medal game against Australia. In a rematch of the 2000 Sydney gold medal contest, the U.S. again prevailed for the 74-63 victory and gold medal on Aug. 28.
Staley capped her 15-year USA Basketball career with her ninth gold medal in international competition, including a pair of World Championship golds (1998, 2002). She and Leslie, who has not ruled out her return to the international stage, have competed together nearly every summer since 1989. Additionally, Swoopes, who together with Leslie and Staley was a member of the historic 1995-96 USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team, has not made a decision on whether Athens would be her final international appearance.
For the third time in as many Olympiads Leslie led the U.S. in scoring and paced her squad on the glass for the second Games (2000) after averaging 15.6 ppg. and 8.0 rpg., which ranked eighth and fifth among all competitors, respectively. Leslie also finished at the top of the blocked shots list with 1.75 bpg. Tina Thompson ranked 18th overall after averaging 14.1 ppg. and Yolanda Griffith grabbed a tournament 12th best 6.6 rpg. Additionally, Griffith's 60.5 percent shooting accuracy ranked fourth and Leslie shot 58.8 percent from the field to finish right behind Griffith. Staley, who topped the charts in assist to turnover ratio (3.83), ranked fourth for assists (2.88 apg.), while Tamika Catchings collected an Olympics fifth best 2.75 spg.
As a team the U.S. ranked first among the 12-team tournament in nearly every major statistical category, including scoring offense (84.0 ppg.), scoring defense (60.3 ppg.), scoring margin (+23.8 ppg.), field goal percentage (.470), rebounding offense (41.9 rpg.), rebounding defense (24.1 rpg.), rebounding margin (+17.8 rpg.) and steals (13.4 spg.). Additionally, the USA finished ranked second for defensive field goal percentage (.367) and blocked shots (3.75 bpg.), and third for assists (12.25 apg.).
Leslie closed out her third Olympic competition ranking as the USA's all-time leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker after compiling 407 points, 185 rebounds and 25 blocked shots in three Olympic Games (1996, 2000 and 2004). Leslie also sits atop the list for a single competition for blocked shots with 14 this year.
The 2004 team replaced several team records, including most rebounds in a single game (58) versus New Zealand and most 3-pointers made (10) and attempted (25) versus Greece in the quarterfinals. Overall the U.S. side rewrote single competition records for most field goals attempted (568), most 3-pointers made (35) and attempted (114), highest free throw percentage (.763), most blocked shots (30) and most steals (107).
2000 Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith, who spent the first two games recovering from a knee injury sustained during the WNBA season, tore cartilage in her right knee during the Aug. 22 game against China and was unable to compete in the USA's medal round contests.
2004 USA WOMEN’S OLYMPIC TEAM ROSTER
|Sue Bird||G||5-9||150||23||Seattle Storm||Connecticut '02||Syosset, NY|
|Swin Cash||F||6-2||162||24||Detroit Shock||Connecticut '02||McKeesport, PA|
|Tamika Catchings||F||6-0||166||25||Indiana Fever||Tennessee '01||Duncanville, TX|
|Yolanda Griffith||F/C||6-4||175||34||Sacramento Monarchs||Florida Atlantic '93||Chicago, IL|
|Shannon Johnson||G||5-7||144||30||San Antonio Silver Stars||South Carolina '96||Hartsville, SC|
|Lisa Leslie||C||6-5||170||32||Los Angeles Sparks||USC '94||Inglewood, CA|
|Ruth Riley||C||6-5||195||25||Detroit Shock||Notre Dame '01||Macy, IN|
|Katie Smith||G||5-11||181||30||Minnesota Lynx||Ohio State '96||Logan, OH|
|Dawn Staley||G||5-6||134||34||Charlotte Sting||Virginia '92||Philadelphia, PA|
|Sheryl Swoopes||F||6-0||145||33||Houston Comets||Texas Tech '93||Brownfield, TX|
|Diana Taurasi||G/F||6-0||170||22||Phoenix Mercury||Connecticut '04||Chino, CA|
|Tina Thompson||F||6-2||178||29||Houston Comets||USC '97||Los Angeles, CA|
|Head Coach: Van Chancellor, Houston Comets|
|Assistant Coach: Anne Donovan, Seattle Storm|
|Assistant Coach: Gail Goestenkors, Duke University|
|Assistant Coach: C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers University|
|Team Physician: Sheldon Burns, Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Athletic Trainer: Chrissy Price, University of Washington|
2004 USA WOMEN’S OLYMPIC TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS
|Leslie||8/8||57- 97||.588||0- 2||.000||11- 15||.733||64/8.0||11||14||8||125/15.6|
|Thompson||8/8||45- 90||.500||6- 18||.333||17- 22||.773||40/5.0||11||0||8||113/14.1|
|Swoopes||8/8||29- 71||.408||9- 21||.429||6- 7||.857||32/4.0||13||2||19||73/9.1|
|Griffith||8/0||26- 43||.605||0- 0||.000||16- 28||.571||53/6.6||1||1||12||68/8.5|
|Taurasi||8/0||26- 69||.377||11- 33||.333||5- 7||.714||24/3.0||8||3||7||68/8.5|
|Catchings||8/8||19- 47||.404||2- 8||.250||15- 18||.833||43/5.4||3||4||22||55/6.9|
|Cash||7/0||16- 35||.457||0- 0||.000||12- 15||.800||31/4.4||2||2||3||44/6.3|
|Johnson||8/0||18- 46||.391||4- 11||.364||9- 9||1.000||20/2.5||15||1||11||49/6.1|
|Staley||8/8||12- 23||.522||1- 5||.200||8- 9||.889||4/0.5||23||0||12||33/4.1|
|Riley||7/0||10- 15||.667||0- 0||.000||4- 5||.800||17/2.4||2||3||3||24/3.4|
|Bird||7/0||9- 30||.300||2- 16||.125||0- 0||.000||6/0.9||8||0||2||20/2.9|
|Smith||3/0||0- 2||.000||0- 0||.000||0- 0||.000||1/0.3||1||0||0||0/ 0.0|